My name is Nicole Wynn. I am a sophomore on the Middle Tennessee State University Women’s soccer team. On May 18th, 2018, I was playing in my last club soccer game when I collided with another player and instantly felt a pop in my hip. The doctor immediately ordered an MRI but told me nothing was torn and to continue with physical therapy. After two months, I left for college and was still in the worst pain. The team doctor looked at the same MRI and told me I tore my labrum and needed surgery, which meant I had to redshirt my freshman year. I had surgery on August 10th, 2018, but 4 months after surgery while in PT, I knew something in my hip wasn’t right. I met with a hip specialist who told me I was born with hip dysplasia, re-tore my labrum, and needed bone shaved off my femur, which meant I needed a second surgery and it was going to be more intense. A second surgery scared me, but the effect it had on my soccer career scared me more. Playing soccer made me who I am and playing in college was my dream for 12 years, so when the doctor told me that there were too many risks to ever playing again, I not only lost the sport I loved, but I lost my identity. I had my second surgery on May 16, 2019.
From my first doctor telling my it was nothing to being told I was never able to play again was the end of the world for me. But this experience has also taught me to never take anything for granted. A player never realizes their true love for a sport until it is taken away from them. With the support of my coaches, family, and friends, I have learned to accept my scars because they make me who I am.